Johnson, Rancic front upcoming projects
Style has shined a greenlight on five new series, including skeins featuring Betsey Johnson and Bill Rancic, while moving forward on developing six others.The cabler said at its upfront Wednesday that after adding 58 advertisers in 2011 with a 33% year-to-year revenue increase, Style has picked up 18 new advertisers in the first quarter of 2012. Style has also seen ratings gains of 22% among women 18-49 in the first quarter compared to a year ago, thanks to such series as “Jerseylicious” and “Big Rich Texas” on Sundays. The latter is up 36% in its sophomore season, while “Giuliana & Bill” has risen 55% in total viewers during its fifth season. That sets the stage for the new programming, highlighted by “Betsey + Lulu,” which will follow Johnson and her daughter as they each pursue the next steps in their fashion careers and personal lives. Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth will exec produce for Magical Elves. “Ultimate Home with Bill Rancic” takes the co-star from “Giuliana & Bill” and focuses on his efforts in the home makeover arena. Also coming soon for Style is “Empire Girls: Julissa & Adrienne,” with Michael Hirschorn, Charles Suitt and Keira Brings exec producing for Ish Entertainment. In that series, which premieres June 3, Adrienne Bailon (“Cheetah Girls”) and Julissa Bermudez (“106 & Park”) will strive to make it even bigger in show business. Endemol USA-produced “Chicagolicious,” from “Jerseylicious” exec producers Alex Duda and Blake Levin, will bow June 11, following the season-two premiere of “Tia and Tamera.” (Duda is also exec producing the second season of “Glam Fairy.”) And “Party Fabulous Vegas” brings Sin City’s high-end event-planning scene to the screen, with Gay Rosenthal exec producing. “Our upcoming slate builds on Style’s commitment to develop compelling programming that showcases fascinating personalities with an insatiable appetite for stylish living,” said Style Media senior veep of original programming and development Sarah Weidman. “Whether it’s working in the high-end fashion industry, delving into celebrity lifestyle, or designing a new home, each show portrays exciting new characters and offers an entertaining glimpse into a world that will resonate with our audience.” Among the series in development for Style is “The Cat Deeley Celebrity Project,” featuring the “So You Think You Can Dance” host, who is exec producing with Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Frank Sinton of A. Smith Prods. In addition, Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver and Kimora Lee Simmons are exec producing fashion skein “House of Fab,” Duda is exec producing “Built” (about male models who are also skilled handymen), Larry Barron is shepherding “Celebrity Closet Confidential,” and Michael Yudin and Joe Townley are exec producing makeup and styling series “Absolutely MARvelous.” Style is also prepping a weekly series, “Pop Style,” on the latest in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and pop culture.